Almirante Garcia Class Destroyers
ARG-GearingBsmall.jpg
(Note: drawing contains some parts taken from Shipbucket.com)

Ship Characteristics

Dimensions Length 390.5 ft
Beam 41 ft
Draft 19 ft
Displacement (Standard) 2,500 tons
Displacement (Full Load) 3,550 tons
Performance Speed (max) 35 knots
Speed (cruising) 15 knots
Endurance 5,800 nautical miles at 15 knots
Armament Guns 12 3 inch L50
Torpedoes 5 21 inch
ASW 2 fixed hedgehogs Mark 11, 80DC

Background

In 1949, the United States Navy made a policy decision that it would not maintain a large reserve fleet and that surplus tonnage would be scrapped rather than maintained in reserve. The immediate result a great parade of pre-war construction to the scrap-heap with the determining factor being the rate at which scrapyards could accept the ships. By the late 1950s, this policy was extending to the Gearing class destroyers that were then being replaced by post-war construction. Large numbers of these ships were offered for sail or scrap and were purchased by a wide variety of countries across the world. Argentina purchased eight of these ships, five in DDK configuration and three in DDE. The three DDE ships became the Almirante Garcia class. Later, three additional ships of this class were purchased.

DDEs differed from DDKs in that the DDE was optimized for escorting groups of warships and convoys while the DDKs formed part of ASW hunter-killer groups. Originally, the DDEs were armed with 10 3inch L50 guns (six being provided with a new type of protective shield, a modification found to be essential for North Atlantic and Arctic conditions). ASW armament consisted of a single Mark 17 hedgehog (a fearsome weapon that fired 61 rounds in a single salvo fromn a trainable launcher), two fixed Mark 11 Hedgehogs and depthcharge throwers suitable for 10-charge patterns. Unlike the DDKs, the DDEs retained the ability to carry torpedoes in their five-tube nest between the funnels. In Argentine hands, the Mark 17 was removed and replaced by a sixth twin 3 inch L50 mount, giving the ships a pleasing, symmetrical layout and better-suiting them to their primary role as AAW escorts for the carriers. Later, the torpedo tubes were replaced by OTOMAT anti-ship missiles.

These ships primarily served as escorts for the Veinticinco de Mayo and Neuve de Julio, three being assigned to each carrier

Class Members

Name Ordered Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate
Almirante Garcia (ex Robert A Ownes DDE-827) 1944 1945 1945 1946
Almirante Storni (ex Keppler DDE-765) 1944 1945 1945 1946
Alferez Sobral (ex Carpenter DDE-825) 1944 1944 1944 1944
Hercules (ex Lloyd Thomas DDE-764) 1943 1944 1944 1944
Santissima Trinidad (ex Fred T Berry DDE-858) 1945 1945 1945 1946 Torpedoed and sunk by HM Submarine Saint Vincent 4/30/1982
Gomez Roca (ex Harwood DDE-861) 1945 1945 1945 1946
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